The United States Department of Education has issued guidance on the obligations for both states and local educational agencies to ensure multilingual learners can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs, the New Jersey Department of Education noted in an advisory.

The NJDOE noted that the amendments to its bilingual education regulations (N.J.A.C. 6A:15) adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in July 2023 incorporate minimum state law requirements as well as federal laws.

According to the USDOE guidance, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974, and Title III of ESSA, the state has a duty to ensure multilingual learners do not exit from required language instruction educational programs, services, or status until they demonstrate English language proficiency on a department approved ELP assessment.

N.J.A.C. 6A:15-1.9(c) sets forth exiting requirements that comply with state and federal law. As federal law has evolved significantly since the enactment of state law regarding transfer to English-only programs (N.J.S.A. 18A:35-19.1), the regulations at N.J.A.C. 6A:15 represent updated requirements for LEAs to ensure compliance with all state and federal requirements.

Please direct any questions to the NJDOE via email.